Smoking in Public Places Ban on Oahu

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Smoker on Hawaii BeachBeginning January 2014, the air at the beaches of Oahu, Hawaii will become a virtual paradise as smokers are prohibited from lighting up there and some other public areas. Personally, I’m all for the ban, but, I can see the reason smokers are going to be having conniptions over what they see as their “right” to smoke wherever they want.

The ban is to take effect at the first of next year.

Smoking in Public Places Ban Includes:

  • beaches
  • parks and playgrounds
  • basketball and tennis courts
  • softball fields
  • public pools
  • bus stops

Curiously, the ban was unanimously approved by the Honolulu City Council and does not apply to municipal golf courses.

It has been against Oahu, Hawaii Law to smoke within twenty feet of the entrances to:

  • stores
  • restaurants
  • bars
  • other places of employment

Hanauma Bay snorkeling spot has enjoyed a smoking ban since 1993.

Where exactly is considered the beach no smoking area?

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources for most beaches will enforce the new law from the high water mark to the water’s edge. But, beachgoers at Kuhio Beach Park won’t be permitted to smoke in the water either!

The penalties ($100-500) are fairly severe, but probably won’t stop some people from doing what they want anyway – risking getting caught. After all, people continually speed in their vehicles and pay hundreds of dollars in fines and get points on their drivers licenses that affects insurance rates. Will $100 keep someone from smoking? Apparently the fines scale for repeated offenses, but still… there will be people doing whatever they want. Is a billionaire with a smoking addiction going to hold off, or sneak one?

Guess who is going to enforce the ban…

Would you believe, THE LIFEGUARDS? How in the world are they going to keep people safe in the water, while worrying about someone smoking on the beach? I hope they rethink this ridiculousness.

So, what do you think about this new smoking ban? Is Oahu going to become a police state next? Are girls that are smoking hot going to get a ticket and fine? Will homeless people be thrown in jail for it, and, is this a way to give police another way to get rid of people they don’t want around any longer? Will a 13 year old be fined? Can you walk around with an unlit cigarette or cigar in your mouth just to tease the police into coming to see what you’re doing? What if you refuse to take the smoke out of your mouth – will they TASER you for it?

The answers to these, and other questions, no doubt coming soon after the first of next year.

[Image credit – miggslives at]



About the Author:

I’ve lived Hawaii since the mid ‘80s when I moved here at the age of 21. I arrived site-unseen in Honolulu with zero contacts and about $5k in savings. I worked from nearly zero and today Hawaii has given me the greatest gifts in the world in all aspects: spiritually, financially, romantically (married since early ‘90s w/ 2 children), and most important, peace. My goal with this site is to share the magic of this Land of Aloha and help others who are on a similar quest.


  1. SilentDoGood 10/15/2015 at 12:17 am - Reply

    Someone missed listing Hanauma Bay Beach Park where no dogs are allowed.

  2. Julie 08/18/2013 at 1:10 am - Reply

    It is against the law to have DOGS on the beach as well..but I don’t see that stopping one person. Have NEVER seen lifeguards or patrol care whatsoever.

    • Vern 08/18/2013 at 7:57 am - Reply

      Hi Julie, Where do you mean? Which beaches? I also have a big problem with dogs running free on the beach. I love dogs, but one never knows when a dog is going to attack someone, especially kids. The dogs without leashes and dogs not on the beaches rule is there for some good reasons. Nobody wants their two-year-old playing with some dog’s doody in the sand either – right? Curious which beaches you’re talking about… Mahalo, Vern

    • Vern 08/18/2013 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      For readers wondering what we’re talking about, there are some beaches where dogs are not welcome at all. Others require being above the high-water line, and others are OK for dogs on leashes. Dogs are not to be off leashes on the islands except on your own property and specially designated places (dog parks). Here is the list of beaches dogs cannot visit at all, according to the Hawaiian Humane Society (more info:

      Ala Moana Beach, Ala Moana
      Banzai Beach, North Shore
      Banzai Rock Beach Park, North Shore
      Ehukai Beach, North Shore
      Ehukai Beach Park, North Shore
      Fort Kamehameha Beach, Hickam
      Hickam Harbor Beach, Hickam
      Iroquois Beach, Hickam
      Kaena Point State Park Beach, Makua
      Kahana Valley State Park Beach, Kahana
      Kapiolani Park Beach, Waikiki
      Ko Olina Lagoons, Kapolei
      Kuhio Beach, Waikiki
      Kuhio Beach Park, Waikiki
      Magic Island Beach, Ala Moana
      Malaekahana State Park, Laie
      Nimitz Beach, Barbers Point
      Pupukea Beach, North Shore
      Pupukea Beach Park, North Shore
      Queen’s Surf Beach, Waikiki
      Sand Island State Park Beach, Sand Island
      Sunset Beach, North Shore
      Sunset Beach Park, North Shore
      Sunset Point Beach Park, North Shore
      Waikiki Beach Center, Waikiki
      Yokohama Bay Beach, Makua

Join the conversation! What do you think?